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Sony buys Viasat channels from MTG

BlacklistSony Pictures Television has acquired the Viasat3 and Viasat6 free-to-air TV channels in Hungary from the Modern Times Group.

The pair of entertainment channels will take SPT’s Hungarian offering to five and they will sit alongside the AXN, AXN White and AXN Black offerings in the Sony stable.

Viasat3 is programmed with mainstream movies and targets women 18-39 with series including Disney-distributed Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Sony’s own ratings-grabber The Blacklist (pictured). Viasat6 targets a young male demo with feature films and series including Fox-distributed American Horror Story and NBCUniversal’s Bates Motel.

Sony said that following completion of the deal, its channel bouquet will command a 6.4% share in the 18-49 demo in Hungary (based on January ratings) and that it will be the fourth largest channel operator in the country. Both networks have wide carriage across Hungarian cable and satellite.

Lyle Stewart, senior VP, SPT Networks, CEEMA, said: “This deal clearly strengthens SPT Networks’ position in the central European market and we are focused on further growing our business over the coming year, building on the considerable success our channels and digital services have already had.”

Sony has been an active acquirer of channels in recent times. Last year it acquired the CSC Media Group, giving it an additional 16 UK channels including kids offerings Pop and Tiny Pop, and also bought into Dori Media’s Israeli channels Viva and Viva Plus in late 2014.

Speaking about the Viasat deal, John Rossiter, general manager, SPT Networks, central Europe, said: “This acquisition is a big milestone in our plans to boost SPT Networks’ audience share in Hungary and across the CE region as a whole, allowing us to establish multiple strong brands in the market.”